September 4, 2013

Red tide rising

With cooler recent nights, I had hoped that the Chesapeake Bay would not see major red tide blooms this summer. But alas, this news from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation got my attention. The VIMS photo below, taken on August 30, by the Monitor Merrimack bridge also says it all.

This huge algae bloom was fed by large amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen, most of that from fertilizers and storm water runoff. And it most likely a harmful species of algae to boot! Probably a marine dinoflagellate called red tide that kills fish.